Other makers Benches, Cabinets and History - U.S.A.


Balcrank Lubrication Equipment

Cincinnati, Ohio  1939 - ??

Produced with similar components to the stand-alone oil pumps, the Service Salesman was the only merchandiser that was offered in a two-tone enamel scheme. It had a single counter-balanced pull-down door, parts washer, and a hidden waste cute for soiled rags. The “Velvetizer” cabinet may be the first merchandiser produced as these ads were found in a 1939 Sheilds & Harper catalog.


Borroughs Manufacturing Company

Kalamazoo, Michigan  1941 - ??

Built like a tank, this rare instance of their early 1940’s bench posses a two panel pulldown door, double stripped stainless trim, a blacked out peg board, and what appears to have been a large slide-out parts washer. The red benches below were most likely produced by Borroughs as well, as the trim and badging are perfect matches.

The New Excelsior Cabinets

We recently had the honor of meeting the gentlemen behind these beautifully constructed Work Stations.  Their company is fabricating high quality cabinets that are deeply inspired from those from the 1940's.  The gauge of steel used is actually thicker than most of the original manufacturers units.  We love that you can change the units into different configurations by adding cabinets together.  The founders share the passion anyone viewing these images does and have used that enthusiasm to create a new line of Merchandisers with an exceptional eye for detail and quality.

All of their products are built from quality steel and premium alloys with powder-coated enamel finishes and trimmed in your choice of material. The products are of a modular design so they can be tailored to suit different budgets and end uses. This also makes it easier to ship and assemble onsite. With the range of component options that are available, they ensure maximum functionality of the product.


Inspired by an era, brought to life by Passion
— Excelsior Tooling Company

Other types of Benches

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John Bean Visualiner

Manufactured in Lansing Michigan, John Bean offered a steering service wall cabinet called the "Visualiner".  It appears their were six different configurations / models.  Years of manufacturing were from 1946 through the 50's.   The first year of production cabinets lacked the Visualiner top signage.  Typically these models measured 137 inches wide, 70 inches tall, and 16 inches deep

The 1950's model below, had no top trim and was slightly shorter than the following years.  The Visualiner sign did not have the right and left wings, because there were two mirrors attached to the top of the cabinet for further alignment usage.

John Bean cabinets being used as back-bars

What would draw a dealership or garage to purchase Department Service Merchandisers?

To give your Service Department a clean and organized appearance.  To offer the mechanics more efficiency and a dedicated work area, based on the task. 

Heavy duty and modular to fit any desired configuration, these Work Stations added efficiency to any busy Service Area.  All manufacturers delivered their Merchandisers enameled in White only.

You would have a choice of Ad Glass for a given specialty or Marquee signage that could be customized by department or dealer.


Kent-Moore catalog - August 1940

- Ads and units in use -

Images of the Merchandiser building process

Production Volume % by Brand - compared to each other

Lincoln and Alemite numbers become closer as you move closer to the Midwest.

Work Station Emblems through the years